Art gallery owner erects ‘gay conversion therapy’ sign in parking lot dispute with church
HOUSTON (KTRK/CNN) - A Houston art gallery and a church are in a battle over parking spaces.
The gallery's owner is now turning to an unusual sign to take matters into his own hands.
"It's meant to be satire and hopefully people get it and it's meant to be ironic," said Robert Rosenberg, who is an artist.
The sign in a Houston neighborhood reads, "Parking only for gay conversion therapy."
"We tried reason," said Hiram Butler, the owner of Hiram Butler Gallery. "We tried anger and neither of those things worked. So we're trying humor."
Butler said he's been in a parking dispute with one particular neighbor for years.
Butler said the nearby church, River Pointe's West End campus, owns the house and hosts events three to five times a week.
People usually end up parking cars on Butler's property.
"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Golden Rule," Butler said.
Last month Rosenberg suggested the idea to Butler along with these bumper stickers reading "follow me to the Blossom Gay Conversion Therapy Center where we pray the straight away."
"Sometimes the only way to deal with those people is hitting them over the head as hard as you can with a joke," Rosenberg said.
"They've had events and they've continued to occupy all the parking spaces," Butler said.
"We host a bible study across the street from Mr. Butler's property, in our private residence, and will continue to be diligent to prevent our guests from using Mr. Butler's four parking spaces," said Patrick Kelley, pastor of the church.
Butler said there is nothing wrong with his message.
"I'm as gay as goose and Robert is a gay as a goose," Butler said. "It's not anti-gay."
"But I think if you look at it you're going to see, it has to be a piece of satire,” Rosenberg said. “What else would it be?"
Butler said he only plans to keep the sign up for two months.
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